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Fed's Powell 'reluctant' to discuss elections

·1-min read
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is focused on how to help the US economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank is focused on how to help the US economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic

The contentious US election still has no clear victor, but Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday steered clear of commenting on politics, staying focused on the economy instead.

"I'm very reluctant, as you would imagine, to comment on the election directly, indirectly at all, other than just to say it's a good time to take a step back and let the institutions of our democracy do their jobs," Powell told reporters.

Over the two days of the Fed's policy committee meeting, Powell said the election came up in discussions "now and again, but it is not at all a central focus of the meeting. Not at all."

The US central bank is concentrating on how best to help the economy recover from damaging hit done by the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

"Every day we'll continue to serve the American people using our tools to support the economy during this difficult time," Powell said. "We talk about risks to the outlook. We talk about what the right policy response might be."

He reiterated the message that the Fed will use all its tools to support the recovery, but said amid a concerning rise in Covid-19 cases, "further support is likely to be needed" in the form of direct spending by Congress.

hs/cs